Taking pictures of their first day at school

Your kids’ first day of elementary school can be a mix of happiness, impatience and a little sadness at the thought of letting them go... Now you can capture these feelings and share the photos with your family—just follow our tips on how to take the best shots and not miss out on any of the action.

Taking Pictures of Their First Day Back at School

Prepare!

The night before their first day, check that the batteries in your camera are fully charged and that there’s enough room on your memory cards. Choose a spot in your house, like the living room, remove anything superfluous and position your camera, mounted on a tripod, in front of a white wall. It’s the best backdrop to quickly photograph your kids wearing their school outfit and carrying their schoolbag, before you leave for school.

Be spontaneous!

Capture moments on the fly while your child is getting ready for school. Squat down when taking a photo, otherwise they will look squashed in the picture. Zoom in on their eyes and use the flash to prevent unsightly shadows from falling on your subject’s face.

Be spontaneous!

Tell the whole story

Here are some ideas for your shoot so that you don’t miss a single key moment of your kids’ first day at school. You can then pull several pictures together in a collage.

  • Before your little one gets out of bed, take a few close-up shots of things like their breakfast bowl, the clothes they will wear, or their little shoes all lined up.
  • Take a few shots when your kids wake up—play with the focus and depth of field to alternate between foreground shots and shots where the background is blurred, and use breakfast time as an opportunity to take pictures.  
  • Dressed and ready to go? It’s time for that last shot before you leave for school.
  • Once you’re in front of the school, photograph your kids’ happy reunion with friends and the moments leading up to the bell toll.
  • Don’t miss taking a shot of your goodbyes through the school fence.
Tell the whole story

Photographing the school bus

Is the bus driving off? Set your camera to shutter-priority mode at 1/125 second—this will freeze the bus’ motion!

That moment when you say goodbye

This is THE pivotal moment of the entire morning, the one where your kid leaves to go to class. Two must-take shots:

  • Adjust your camera’s ISO until the light looks right and ask another parent to take a picture of your goodbyes through the school fence, while focusing on your kid’s eyes and framing tightly.
  • Take back your camera, zoom as much as you can or take a wide-angle shot of your child from behind, making their way towards a new adventure!

And you?

After all, this a very emotional time for you, so take a self-portrait. If possible, ask someone to take a picture of you to prevent the “deformed” effect that results from shooting arm's length portraits, or else use the self-timer.

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Taking pictures of their first day at school

Your kids’ first day of elementary school can be a mix of happiness, impatience and a little sadness at the thought of letting them go... Now you can capture these feelings and share the photos with your family—just follow our tips on how to take the best shots and not miss out on any of the action.
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